a fake fast-food religious experience

I’m a vegetarian who loves McDonalds. I love McDonald’s French fries so much; I think they are the best kind. When I go to McDonalds I get the two cheeseburger meal without meat and I put French fries where the meat should be. I’m not proud of it but there it is. Last night there was a startlingly good-looking man working the drive thru window. (I’m preoccupied with how people look. I think it makes a big difference in how your life will be. I think that other people don’t acknowledge its influence enough.) Three things were clear from the start:

  1. This was a man with a leaning towards making the best of every situation.
  2. He had not been working the McDonald’s drive thru for very long.
  3. He longed for attention and love.

He told me my food would take hours because they were dropping new French fries for me. I really hate that. They taste better when they’ve become a little cold and stewing, in my opinion. He was nervous and apologetic but hoped his smile and upper arms would charm me. Seriously, he leaned forward and emphasized both those things. Sometimes I feel like I can see people in slow motion, and what I find out is a secret.

Really, the food took quite a long time, but I keep a computer in my pocket and I looked at twitter. I thought about my novel. Writers should never be bored, not really. He brought me my food. Your French fries are going to be so good now, he assured me. I asked him for a lot of ketchup, and he picked up a huge pile in his fist and grinned at me. I thought about telling him, “you’re too good-looking to work at McDonalds.” He would have really liked that. I felt so powerful. It was like someone had handed me a sword and I elected not to wield it. Instead I said, “I don’t have any ketchup at home,” because it’s true. I’m out of ketchup. He picked up the bin and dropped 6 pounds of ketchup in my bag, and then I drove off, instead of him climbing through the window into my car and coming home with me.

It’s a gift, don’t get me wrong, but somehow I just feel really burdened with all this ketchup. I guess I’m depressed about the extra packaging.


10 thoughts on “a fake fast-food religious experience

  1. I tell you, Burger King was wrong when they made their flame broiled perfume. The real money is in the scent of Mcdonalds french fries. That’s one addicting fragrance.

    I once told a young CVS worker “You’re too pretty to work here. Even if you are the manager.” And I haven’t seen her in awhile, so I guess she got promoted or a better job.

  2. I love this… very nice observation of aesthetics and low-wage jobs.

    I wonder… why didn’t you tell him that he was too attractive to work at McDonalds? That makes me curious because it’s a secret window into your own motivations, even more than what you’ve written.

    For me personally, I don’t think I’d say that to anyone either, but mostly for fear it might be taken the wrong way. After all, it is a back-handed compliment in a way, and yet also true in the way you intended it.

  3. i love the slow-motion bit because i’ve felt that too. time drops away and you can see their real emotions scrawled across their faces. but it only ever lasts a fraction of a second

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